Rising country star Kendall Gary is already making a name for herself in 2018. Earlier in March, she released her latest single, “Head Held High,” and the accompanying video (which you can see above). I got the chance to talk with Kendall about how she got into music, how she balances making music with her studies, her new album (which is expected to drop sometime this year) and so much more. Keep reading to see her answers!
How old were you when you first took the step into making and performing music?
I first started voices lessons when I was four years old and it just kind of became a passion for me since then. I knew I wanted to make it a career at about 14 years old. That’s when I started writing songs and producing and doing covers and things like that.
Was there something or someone specific that, at 14 years old, pushed you into realizing this is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
No, I just always loved doing music and performing. It’s been a growing passion of mine. There was no real defining moment.
If I read things right, you’re a full-time student studying music business, correct?
Have you found it challenging trying to balance your up-and-coming music career and school?
It can be sometimes, but I don’t mind being busy. Especially doing what I love, it doesn’t seem like a job. It’s just something to look forward to, to me. Having school and my music is just a fun balance.
Moving on to talk about your music, you just released your single “Head Held High,” which I personally really loved.
Awww, thank you.
You’re welcome. So what was the inspiration behind it?
For me, I feel like so many people are just surrounded by negativity and I feel like you need something to remind yourself that there are people going through the same thing as you, you are never alone and to never give up and not to give into the people who want to see you fall.
Going off of your inspiration for writing this song, talk a bit about your writing process in general. Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with others?
I started that song specifically by myself and then I worked with three other producers to finish it. But I tend to write by myself or people that I’m comfortable with, just because when writing music you have to be so vulnerable and you have to trust the people that you’re working with and you have to be able to work well together in order to find something beautiful.
Since we just talked about being inspired to write songs, who are some of your musical influences when it comes to songwriting but also just in terms of the sound of the music you create?
Definitely Kacey Musgraves. I love her. When I first heard her on the Grammys, I was just like, “Wow. That’s amazing.” I loved her lyrics and how clever they were. And I just loved her way of taking country music and making it her own. It inspired me to do the same.
Have you ever gotten to see her perform live?
I have. My dad actually surprised me with tickets to her Christmas concert in Dallas last year. That was a lot of fun.
You’re coming out with an album sometime this year, right?
Is it finalized enough to where you know how many songs are going to be on it and what fans can expect from it when it comes out?
There’s ten songs, so far, and they’re all finished. They are more upbeat songs. There’s not really any slow ballads. But I’m working on a few more songs and I hope to add that to the album. If not, then there will be another project coming out very soon after.
Do you know specifically when your album is going to come out?
I’m actually not sure yet, but if you keep up with me then you’ll see!
Is there a track, whether it’s one you have already released or one you have yet to release on this upcoming album, that you feel best represents you and who you are and who you are as an artist?
I feel like it would be my most recent single, “Head Held High,” because I wrote that song by myself and then I decided to show it to my producers once I became comfortable with them. Like I said earlier, you have to be vulnerable and I was able to really let my guard down and be like, “This is what I’m feeling.” It was my song and I shared it with them. So I feel like that is one of my favorite songs and really shows who I am.
I just have a few quick questions left. Who would be your dream tour mate and why?
Oh, definitely Kacey Musgraves. I mentioned her before, but I just love her so much and I really look up to her. Out of the country genre, I’d say Christina Aguilera. She’s always been a role model for me, and, before I chose country, I was always singing her music and I just love her voice and the strength that it has. She’s just amazing to me.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not making music or studying?
I’m very much an artsy kind of person. I love crafting. That’s my thing.
Are you a painter or a scrapbooker? What kind of crafting?
I usually do vinyl projects. I love doing that. I paint sometimes for my sorority. I’m not the best painter, but I try [laughs].
Our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us — what do you nerd out over?
English bulldogs. I have four of them and I absolutely love them. If you get me started talking about them, I’ll annoy the heck out of you [laughs]… I can tell you history about the breed and talk about my dogs and show you pictures.